Considering an VR headset for the next two years, PC + driving sim orientated. Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Computers & Technology' started by Submerged, Mar 27, 2020 at 12:58 AM.

  1. Submerged

    Submerged Premium

    United Kingdom
    Hello all,

    Kind of trying to figure out the computing landscape on the VR headsets so far.

    Its a little confusing at present as apparently you can get a "VR" headset for your phone to watch movies and something like that, for pretty cheap.

    But what I am really looking for, is something to use for Assesto Corsa, Project Cars 2 and driving sims on, that also allows you to have some ability to look at your braking markers and maybel around the cockpit if needed.

    So far, apparently HTC Vive and Oculus is the way forward, but I am not entirely sure if that is the correct choice considering some changes (as they always do for computing stuff) happens in the next 9 months.

    My main question really is.... VR or the ability to strap a 1080p+ monitor to your face and move it around is worth it? And what can I expect in the future?
  2. gregc


    I've been using VR for quite a while now, for both racing games (mostly Project CARS 1 & 2 in my case, plus a little Assetto) and loads of non-racing stuff too. To the "is it worth it" question - in my opinion 100% yes. These days I only drive a sim in VR, and almost all of my other gaming is in VR too. However - this is just my opinion, some people suffer from motion sickness in VR (many get used to it - get their 'VR legs' - some never do). If you suffer from motion sickness in real life, you need to bear this in mind.

    As for what to get - the simple answer is the best you can afford, but also bear in mind that you need a reasonable PC to do VR. As an example, I use a 2 year old gaming laptop with a GTX1070 graphics card. This runs pCARS2 just fine on low-to-medium graphics settings with my Rift S.

    Headset wise Valve Index is basically the best consumer headset on the market - comfort, field of view, resolution, controllers, audio all great (according to every review I've seen - I haven't used one myself). It's also very expensive - a setup including base stations, hand controllers and headset will run you around the £1000 mark. By comparison Oculus Rift S is not quite up there with the Index, but still does most things very well, has no need for base stations for tracking (it's built into the headset) and comes in at £400 ready to go. The only real problem is the audio, however plug in some earbuds/headphones and that's sorted. I personally wouldn't go with any of the Vive headsets at the moment, they're pricey compared to the Oculus and from what I've read/watched have no massive advantages and some downsides of their own.

    The final headset option is the Oculus Quest, which is a standalone headset (no PC required) with it's own ecosystem of games (including some extremely good ones). It can also plug into a VR-capable PC using a high quality USB3 cable and act as a regular PC VR headset. However - while this works just fine in most games, for Project CARS 2 on my system the performance is not good enough to play properly - it's very choppy framerate wise. Quest is in many ways a fantastic headset, but not for playing racing sims on PC.

    Sorry, rambled on a bit there, but in summary - assuming you have a VR capable PC - Valve Index if money is no object, Rift S otherwise. If, of course, you can actually get hold of either of them at the moment....

    Edit - another thing - if you're planning to play Assetto Corsa Competizione in VR you will need a beast PC. Regular AC is fine, but ACC was unplayable under some circumstances for me (night/rain/large grid) - 10-15 fps unplayable...
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020 at 2:20 PM
  3. neema_t

    neema_t Premium

    United Kingdom
    I have a Vive, I wouldn't recommend it, too heavy for sustained use and things have moved on. You may have meant a Vive Cosmos, wouldn't recommend that either for its poor tracking. If you just want VR for racing, an Index would be the very best because it has the highest frame rate but there's also a new Reverb (IIRC) coming that could be a big deal as it also has Valve's name on it. If you're sat in a racing seat you won't care about having a wire sticking out of your head as much as if you're doing room-scale VR.

    On the other hand, if you want a wireless headset you can either go with an Oculus Quest (which can connect to a PC for "proper" VR with a USB-C cable or wirelessly via 5GHz Wi-Fi, or so I've read) or a Vive Cosmos Elite and the wireless adaptor add-on, although I'm not sure if that's officially supported yet.
  4. gregc


    I mentioned this in my previous post, but to be absolutely clear - from my experience, I would absolutely not recommend Quest via USB for racing games, it's fine for most other types of game but the performance is not good enough for racing. Performance over wifi is apparently worse again, though I haven't tried Virtual Desktop myself.

    If you want to race in VR, the best (only current) Oculus option is Rift S.
    neema_t likes this.